Map of Arabia and the Persian Gulf


This map of the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf emphasizes the physical terrain and transportation routes as surveyed in 1916 by the Survey of India, the cartographic branch of the British government of India. It was prepared at the beginning of the British campaign against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The map provided a general view of the Middle East Theater and was not intended for any particular army operation. It shows the Hejaz Railway, undersea telegraph cables, pilgrimage routes, and the location of oil installations in southwestern Iran. International boundaries are absent from the map. It does show Babylon and the Sasanian ruins at Ctesiphon near Baghdad, two famous sites of archeological interest. The map key on the second of the two sheets explains the abbreviations and symbols used. Relief is shown by hachures and spot elevations. The Survey of India was established in 1767 to assist the British East India Company, and later the British government, in administering its south Asian empire. The map was published in 1917 under the direction of Colonel Sir Sidney Burrard, surveyor general of India. The printing technique was heliozincography, a photographic process using zinc plates that was developed in Britain and that enabled accurate reproduction of images and text. It was printed at the Survey’s factory in Dehra Dun, India.

Last updated: March 21, 2016